Late Denham businessman’s car collection could sell for £1.7m
A collection of cars belonging to a Denham businessman is expected to fetch up to £1.7 million when it is auctioned next month by Bonhams.
Kingsley Curtis began collecting old cars in 1963, the year before he became managing director of the Rougham-based refrigeration company HRP, which was founded by his father in 1945.
Mr Curtis died of cancer at West Suffolk Hospital in September at the age of 78.
His collection started when he fell for a 1924 Bean 11.9hp parked at a pub in Richmond and bought it on the spot.
Now, 14 cars, a carriage and an 1880 horse-drawn hearse will be sold by Bonhams on March 20 at its Goodwood Members’ Meeting Sale in Sussex.
The star lot will be a rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing sports car, so called because its doors are hinged in the roof and open upwards to look like gull’s wings.
Tim Schofield, Bonhams UK Head of Motoring, said: “The model featured is a highly sought after, early 1955 example of a Mercedes-Benz Gullwing – chassis number 37.
“The majority of Gullwings were delivered to the US. To see one in Europe was incredibly rare, making this particular model, only the third delivered to the UK, quite the trailblazer.”
Bonhams expect it to fetch £800,000 to £1 million.
The other cars are a 1923 Bentley 3-Litre TT Replica, 1960 Maserati 3500 GT, 1981 Aston Martin V8 Volante, 1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp, 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth, 1924 La Buire 12A, 1920 Bean 11.9hp and a 1919 Singer Ten.
Mr Scholfield added: “The collection is incredibly diverse, featuring high quality examples of each model, most of which have been in Mr. Curtis’s collection for many years.”